FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
Most "first-timers" have a lot of questions - so here's a list of questions most commonly asked to help you get ready and
ensure "smooth sailing" both before and during your cruise.
WHAT DOCUMENTS DO I NEED TO TAKE?
For the most current government requirements, please go to: travel.state.gov
WANNA CRUISE TIP: Although a passport card is acceptable for cruise travel, it will not be sufficient for international air travel
should your plans change and you are required to fly home from a foreign port.
HOW DO I PAY FOR ITEMS ON BOARD AND IN PORT?
The Cruise Lines will open an on board account, prior to sailing, for bar purchases, soft drinks, souvenirs, shore excursions, spa
treatments, etc, which you can settle by credit card, travelers checks or cash at the end of the cruise. The purser's office will also
cash travelers checks for you. Many ships now have ATMs. In addition, most of the duty-free shops on board and most shops in port will
also cash travelers checks. Most shops in port will accept major credit cards as well as American dollars or travelers checks. YOU
WILL NOT BE ABLE TO CASH PERSONAL CHECKS on board THE SHIP.
WHAT ABOUT TIPPING ON BOARD THE SHIP?
Tipping with most cruise lines is now included on your on board account. While this makes tipping the proper people more convenient, you
may be able to alter these amounts according to your cruise experience in these areas. Your tips will compliment these services on your
cruise ship: Your Cabin Stewards, Waiter and Assistant Waiter. These amount will range from $9.00 to $10.00 per person per day on
most cruise lines. On luxury cruise lines these amount may be higher. If you wish to change the amounts either by reducing or adding to
your account, you should visit the purser on board your cruise ship. Note: most cruise lines add gratuities to bar tabs. Always check your
WANNA CRUISE TIP: If someone really exceeds your expectation, an additional tip would be greatly appreciated.
DO I NEED TO PACK A TUXEDO OR FORMAL DRESS?
Men do not need to wear a tuxedo on formal nights. A dark suit is totally acceptable. Should you desire to wear a tuxedo, but do not
own one or do not want to bother renting one before leaving, many cruise lines allow you to rent a Tuxedo on board. This will reduce
additional packing and you will have a pressed Tuxedo on each formal night of your cruise. Although prices may vary on different cruise
lines, the average price is between $75 & $85. This will cover all cruises of 11 days or less. Included on Standard Tuxedo Rental
Package are 1 Black Jacket, 1 Pair of Black Pants, 2 White Formal Shirts, 1 Black Cummerbund and Tie Set and 1 Set of cuff links and
studs. There is also a White Dinner Jacket Package, and a Package for both The Standard Black and White Dinner Jacket Tuxedo's
Note: Shoes and Socks are additional.
Rentals are available for the Ladies as well on Celebrity, Holland, Princess and Royal Caribbean. If you are sailing on "back-to-back"
cruises (two consecutive sailings of the same ship), then each voyage is considered a separate rental. If you are not sure, please call
our toll free number where a customer service representative is ready to assist you.
If you do not wish to dress for formal night, there are always alternative dining options available on those nights.
Please note that not all Cruise Lines have a "Formal Night". Many shorter cruises will be more casual, although most cruise lines do
have dress restrictions in their dining rooms at night, usually restricting shorts, bathing suits or tee shirts.
WHAT ABOUT MOTION SICKNESS AND MEDICAL CARE?
Ships today are so well stabilized that most of the time you won't notice you are even moving! It's a good idea though to take along
some motion sickness precaution (follow the directions on the box) as well as aspirin and sunscreen. And be sure not to forget any
prescription drugs you are taking. These should be put in your carry-on-luggage. Consult your physician before taking any medication.
WANNA CRUISE TIP: Bring along travel size medications such as antacids, anti-diarrheal medication, allergy medication, minor first
aid supplies, etc. Remember that you will be eating different foods (and sometimes too much of it) and travelling in different climates
so it doesn't hurt to be prepared for anything.
If you do have a problem on board, all ships have a doctor and a nurse aboard. They also have radio communications with hospitals should
you require advanced medical care. You should note that these services require a fee, should you need them, which is in addition to your
WHAT HAPPENS TO MY LUGGAGE AFTER I LEAVE IT AT THE AIRPORT (OR PORT,
IF YOU ARE DRIVING)?
If you are using the cruise line's airfare program, you will affix the luggage tags sent with your cruise documents and check your
luggage at the airport. The next time you see it will be in your cabin! There are a few ports where you will need to claim your luggage at
the airport--this will be indicated in your cruise documents and, again, call me if you have any questions. If you are flying but NOT using
the cruise line's airfare program you still need to affix your cruise line tag but you will need to claim your own luggage at the airport
baggage area when you arrive in your port city and take it with you to the port. If you are driving to the port, you will check your
luggage when you arrive at the port, and they will take your bags to your cabin. It's a good idea to check your cabin about 1/2 hour
before sailing to be sure your luggage has arrived and to check with your steward or the purser's office if it is not there. They have
thousands of bags to deliver to cabins and it does take a while. The most important thing is your luggage tag -- without it, how will they
know where to find you?
Although it is a very rare occurrence, bags are occasionally lost. Travel insurance will cover the expenses associated with being
compensated for lost items as well as purchasing items you will need on your trip to replace the lost ones.
WANNA CRUISE TIP: If you are travelling with a close companion, consider packing half of your items in each other's bags. This way
if a bag is lost, you will still have necessary items (underwear, pants, shirts, etc) to last you until you can get replacement items.
On the last night of your cruise you will be asked to put your luggage (except your carry-on bags) outside your cabin so that it can be
taken to the holding area, and off loaded early the next morning. You will claim your bags in the customs area, don't worry all this will
be explained on the ship. It would be a good idea to pack an overnight bag on your cruise.
HOW CAN I BE REACHED ON BOARD THE SHIP IN AN EMERGENCY?
ROYAL CARIBBEAN 888 724 7447
CELEBRITY 877 266 1020
PRINCESS 900 225 5744
CARNIVAL 877 225 7447
HOLLAND AMERICA 800 426 0327
DISNEY 888 322 8732
NORWEGIAN 888 627 4477
Most of today's ships now have cell phone service available but you will most likely incur roaming charges. Although the rate will be
cheaper than using the ship-to-shore calling plan, it can still amount to several dollars per minute, regardless of your carrier's plan.
Texting is a more affordable way to keep in touch with those at home. There is also a more affordable internet plan available on
board. Check with the cruise line for rates.
WANNA CRUISE TIP: Contact your carrier about international rates. It may be much cheaper for you to call home from the foreign
ports once you get off the ship. Many ports also have phone cards for sale which can be used in the dock area.
HOW WILL I KNOW WHAT IS GOING ON BOARD THE SHIP, OR FIND OUT ABOUT SHORE EXCURSIONS?
There will be all kinds of "goodies" about this in your cabin when you arrive and prior to sailing is a good time to explore and get your
bearings as to where the dining room, gym, lounges ect. are located. There will be a daily program of activities put in your cabin each
night for the next day. It is recommended that shore excursions be pre-booked so once you board the ship, your days are already
planned and all you will need to do is relax.
IS IT BETTER TO TAKE A SHORE EXCURSION OR EXPLORE PORTS OF CALL ON MY OWN?
A lot of that is really up to you! Most ships include a program of their shore excursions with your cruise documents but if not, you will
have one in your cabin when you board the ship. You can also access the cruise line's website for a listing of excursions on your
particular cruise. We recommend that you plan and schedule your excursions before you board so that your vacation is truly a vacation.
We have access to some of the best shore excursions in various ports and can help you choose one that is right for you and your budget.
We recommend considering at least one shore excursion in order to really experience your port of call.
Some of the islands/ports that are easy to explore on your own (by cab, or even on foot in some places) are: St. Thomas, Grand Cayman,
Key West, Freeport, Cozumel, San Juan, Bermuda, Canadian ports especially Quebec City, Greneda and St. Barts.
WANNA CRUISE TIP: If you book an excursion through the cruise line, the ship will wait for you, should you encounter a delay in
returning from the ship. If you have booked on your own through a local tour company or are travelling by taxi, and you encounter a
delay, the ship may leave port without you. Unless you are familiar with the port you are in and know where your excursion is taking you
(some require a 2 hour bus ride... in local buses), we recommend booking through the cruise line.
Many cruise lines now offer e-docs and you can check-in at anytime using the cruise line's website. If you are expecting cruise
documents through the mail and they have not arrived 2 weeks before your departure, contact us so we can check the status. Always
check your documents to ensure they show your correct name, ship, sailing date and cabin number (if you have been assigned a cabin at
booking). Also be sure your airline tickets if applicable, are accurate and reflect the correct name transport to the correct port. If
you are using the cruise line air program you should also have vouchers for transportation from the airport to the port and back. All
document packages should contain luggage tags and many will also include form to fill out for boarding passes, on board credit programs.
All of these should be filled out before you leave. If you think you are missing anything or would like me to go over them with you, just
let me know.
BON VOYAGE!! Please contact us when you return and let us know what a great time you had. It's feedback from clients that help us
assist all of you in making good choices for your cruise vacations!
MAY ALL YOUR SEAS BE SMOOTH. Happy Cruising!
P.S. If you are using the cruise line's transfer program, be sure to check your cruise documents for voucher for transportation from
the airport to the pier. When you disembark the plane, look for the Cruise Line Representative in the baggage claim area. They will
direct you to the bus or van. If you don't happen to see them right away(and this rarely occurs) just ask a rep from one of the other
cruise lines to "point the way"!! Sometimes one person has to meet two planes at once and all the cruise people help each other out at